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Mostly Autumn - The Spirit Of Autumn Past CD (album) cover

THE SPIRIT OF AUTUMN PAST

Mostly Autumn

 

Prog Folk

3.82 | 109 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars This has been my first touch of Mostly autumn. A radio played "The gap is too wide" and I had the impression of being listening to something that I already knew. Only when the electric guitar started crying in the long instrumental coda of that song, I realized that I was listening to something new. This is the good and the bad of this album.

It starts with few notes from the closing track of their first album (The last bright light will then start with the last notes of "the gap is too wide") that fade into "Winter Mountain". This is my less preferred song. The mood is early 70s and makes me think to the Renaissance debut. However I have to admit that I sometimes skip this track.

"This great blue pearl" is a slow ballad introduced by a "hammond like" organ. Again close to early Renaissance. The final guitar riff is in David Gilmour's style. Bryan Josh is probably the most skilled follower of Sir David. Not a masterpiece but a nice song.

"Pieces of Love" is very Floydian. The instrumental intro comes from the Meddle period, but it's the first song in this album on which the vocal skill of Heather Findlay can be appreciated. She sings on an acoustic guitar base. The fiddle alternates with the voice.

"Please" is a sad song about love's end, solitude and stuff like this. A Korg X-5 default sound and Bryan's voice start the song that after about two minutes fortunately arrives to the chorus. Well, I don't like the quite trivial lyrics (take me with you, don't leave me alone). However, after the chorus and echoed guitar and the fiddle make a nice break to the second chorus. a 2.5 stars song.

"Evergreen" is where the CD starts to pay back. This is a fantastic song introduced harped guitar and keyboars, then Heather comes with her crystal voice, sustained by Angela's backing. When she stops singing the rhythm guitar and keyboard come and when the second chorus arrives we are in the middle of an example of how a progressive song has to be. A sudden change of tonality, a short guitar riff and back to the chorus. It's a crescendo until it stops and seems to restart from the beginning, but it's only to introduce a great guitar solo that turns into rock when drums double the tempo. A masterpiece of progressive rock.

"Styhead Tarn" is just a bridge to the following track. A bit of Renaissance before "Shindig". This is folky. This album has less celtic moments respect to their debut. It's likely the reason of Bob Faulds' leaving. "Blakey Ridge" is strictly connected to Shindig. We can say that those three tracks can be considered together. This one reminds to early Caravan even if the shadow of Sir David is still present.

"Underneath the Ice" is another typical Mostly Autumn song. It's exactly 3 stars. Good but non-essential.

The same applies to "Thorugh the window". This is a folk song unfortunately sung by Bryan, even if his voice is not that bad. Only it can't be compared to Heather's.

"The spirit of Autumn Past Part 1" is an instrumental introduction to another 3-tracks medley, in the sense that this, its second part and "The gap is too wide" must be listened together in sequence. It's a typical Pink Floyd like introduction. "Signs of Life" and "Cluster One" as reference. "The Spirit of Autumn Past Part 2" is another topic moment of this album. The chorus seems to come from the flower power age, the melody is simple but it's highly enjoyable. I really love this song. Also the changes of tonality, all in the coda, are well orchestrated and the final guitar and keyboard riff is very nice. a 4 star song. When it stops and turns back into the water sounds that opened the part 1, we are ready for the top moment of the album:

"The gap is too wide" starts folky. Acoustic guitar, violin, keyboard's backfilling and Heather's voice. It could be a Clannad song of the 80s (Macalla and Sirius period). Between the second and the third stanza, a radio speaker says something about long life, God, and sunshine. Then, when Heather finishes singing, keyboard and violin lead the track to a change of tonality on which the acoustic guitar introduces the last 6 fantastic minutes of the album. 4 simple chords for one of the most intense instrumental progressive pieces of the last 10 years. When the acoustic guitar turns into rhythm, it's replaced by the electric in the same harping. A little crescendo and the keyboard's "OOOH sound" offer the start to the impressive Josh's solo. His guitar dramatically cries. Your stereo volume must be very high, here. A masterpiece of prog-folk. It's completed by Angela's (I assume) pipes that turn it back into folk and back to the water gimmicks at the end. it's a 4.5 stars album. It's not 5 because of some weak moments, but evergreen and the gap is too wide would have been a 5 stars single.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |

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